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Supporting Carolina Athletics

The members of the Athletic Bands are among the most loyal and vocal supporters of Carolina Athletics. They never sit during a game and they lead the fans present in cheering. The members also work very hard to educate the fans by cheering only when appropriate relative to game situations. Whether in Chapel Hill or on the road with the Tar Heels, the band members take great pride in the way they support the team.

Drumline Warm-Up on Game Day

An hour and a half before all home football games, the drumline warms-up and plays through the music and cadences for the day in the Pit. Many fans gather to watch this session and the youngest fans are always excited to hear the drumline play.

Trumpets and Tubas at Dey Hall

On home football game days, the trumpet and tuba sections of the Marching Tar Heels perform “Carolina Victory” on the steps of Dey Hall one hour and five minutes before kick-off. This performance announces to all of the fans in Tar Heel Town that it is time to gather near Wilson Library to hear the band’s performance prior to leaving for the march to the stadium.

The Blue and White Warm-Up Chorale

Arranged for the band by former members Joshua Potter and Ryan Ripperton (words by Brian Miller), this is the chorale that is played before each rehearsal and performance by the Marching Tar Heels and Basketball Bands. The chorale has become a crowd favorite at Tar Heel Town on home football game days when the band plays it in front of Wilson Library one hour prior to kick-off.

Aye! Zigga Zoomba

This catchy tune that was popular in the 1950’s is sung by the members of the Marching Tar Heels as they enter Kenan Stadium on game days. The tune is also played at various times during the game and at Tar Heel Town.


Performed before the Marching Tar Heels leave Wilson Library on home football game days, this call and response rhyme is a student and fan favorite. The senior members of the band are responsible for writing material that is specific to the opponent of the day.

The March to Kenan Stadium

The Marching Tar Heels parade from Tar Heel Town to Kenan Stadium after their performance in front of Wilson Library on home football game days. This spirited march entertains the fans along the parade route, as the band has a special set of moves for nearly all segments of the cadence sequence.

Marching Tar Heels Senior Day

The last home football game every season is designated as Senior Day and the graduating members of the band are recognized at the conclusion of the halftime show. The senior members select the show to be performed on that day and the underclassmen present them with flowers to be worn on their uniform.

Alumni Band Performance at Homecoming

Former members of the Marching Tar Heels are welcomed back to the field at Kenan Stadium each year at homecoming to perform with the current members of the band. If they feel up to it physically, they are also welcome to make the march to Kenan Stadium with the band.

The Major Y Award

This award was established in 1999 by the family and friends of Major John Yesulaitis, Director of Bands at the University of North Carolina from 1964 to 1989, in recognition of his contributions to the UNC Bands and the University. The award is presented annually to the member of the Athletic Bands that has best embodied Carolina spirit through their dedication, participation, motivation and support of the missions of the UNC Athletic Bands. Past recipients are listed here.

The Earl Slocum Band Award

This award honoring Earl Slocum, Director of Bands from 1935 to 1956, is given annually to the senior member of the Concert Bands who has demonstrated meritorious achievement with regard to musicianship, leadership, and academic excellence, and who also has made a significant contribution to the growth and success of the University Band program. Past recipients are listed here.

The Danielle Elizabeth Liotta Award

This scholarship award honors and celebrates the life of Danielle Elizabeth Liotta, a member of the 2006-2007 Marching Tar Heels who was killed in an automobile accident after her first year at Carolina. It is presented annually to a second year member of the Marching Tar Heels that exudes the same extraordinary characteristics, values, morals, and beliefs that Danielle embodied as a person: a commitment to musical and academic excellence and a good campus citizen who was ambitious, compassionate, dependable, enthusiastic, loyal and spirited. Liotta Scholarship recipients are listed here.